Vinopolis Newsletter September 28 2016

Wine of the Week – Cantalupo ’09; Syrah by Northwest Special Feature;  2010 Barolo Best-Ofs; Pichler Handpicked; Pegau ‘Cuvée Réservée’ Spotlight; Shipping Announcement; Presenting: Cornas of Domaine Coulet; Champagne Closer: Taittinger 2004

Cantalupo ’09

In the Nebbiolo country of northern Piedmont, removed from the star-studded Langhe, exist a few regions whose wines render that noble grape in a beautiful, more delicate style, at approachable prices. Gattinara is one, and Ghemme is another. From here in Ghemme, beneath the imposing Alpine peak of Monte Rosa, come the wines of Cantalupo. With 84 acres under vine, family-owned Cantalupo has been making Nebbiolo wines since 1969. Soils here are alluvial, from glacial moraines retreated during the last Ice Age, a change from the Langhe. Cantalupo performs all of the vineyard work, including harvest, by hand, and uses traditional Slavonian oak along with some French oak. The wines are raised in a cellar cut into the hillside, and they show plenty of elegance and red fruit, with a medium-full body. Any fan of Nebbiolo ought to know the name Cantalupo, and its cooler-clime version of Italy’s premier red grape.

Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo ‘Cantalupo Anno Primo’ Colline Novaresi, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($44.95) $38 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo ‘Cantalupo Anno Primo’ Colline Novaresi, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($479.95)
$399 special, 2 cases available
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2009 Cantalupo Anno Primo is a gorgeous, super-classic Ghemme. Rosewater, bright red cherry, geranium, tobacco, pine and mint are beautifully delineated throughout. Aromatically intense and focused, the 2009 shows exactly what makes Nebbiolo from Ghemme so delicious. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine that won’t break the bank. At times, the aromatic signatures are quite reminiscent of Mascarello’s Barolo Monprivato, although the tannic and acid signatures are very much those of Ghemme.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

A Syrah-Centric Washington/Oregon Featurette

California has her Cabernets and Oregon boasts more Pinot Noir than we know what to do with – not that we’re complainging!  For the Syrah lover, however, Washington (and Oregon, a bit!) present the finest, most worthwhile Syrah you’ll find outside of France – and even then, we give them a run for their money! Whether you’ve arrived at Northwestern Syrah with an Old-World palate or want a taste of the hottest New-World genre, we’ve got plenty of it at Vinopolis to quench your thirst!

For the cellar, for the dinner table, or anywhere in between:
presenting Northwestern Syrahs Available Here Now and divided up by vintage:


Charles Smith K Vintners Milbrandt Vineyard Syrah, Wahluke Slope 2014 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 20 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Probably the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date, the 2014 Syrah Milbrandt Vineyard is 100% Syrah, fermented with 100% whole clusters, that spent 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels and puncheons. This beauty is overflowing with notes of cassis, caramelized meats, licorice and spice, which gives way to a full-bodied, concentrated, superbly textured Syrah that can be enjoyed today, or cellared for a decade.”

Franchere Havlin Vineyard Syrah, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Winery note
“Sinewy, energetic, savory, age-able. Phenolic ripeness occurs at low brix thanks to the shallow marine sedimentary soil and bedrock of near-solid ironstone.”

Owen Roe ‘Ex Umbris’ Syrah, Yakima Valley 2014 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 12 bottles available
Winery note
“Now our most-loved Syrah, this wine was introduced as a one-time bottling in 2002 after a wild fire struck the vineyard’s surrounding hillsides. The residual ash and smoke resonated in the Syrah grapes, creating a very memorable wine. Year after year, we are asked to develop a Syrah to keep the story of this wine alive! Now, 10 vintages later, we hope you will enjoy this bold Syrah comprised from several exceptional vineyards in the Columbia and Yakima Valleys.”

Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘Foothills in the Sun’ Reserve Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 10 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
“An early bottled effort that’s made from 100% Syrah, the sensational 2014 Syrah Foothills Reserve is a notch darker in color than the 2013 and offers layers of ripe Syrah dark fruits, olive tapenade, pepper and crushed rock like minerality. Coming from a cool site on the eastern edge of the Walla Walla Valley, where the Syrah is just on the edge of where it can get ripe, this medium to full-bodied, seamless, elegant beauty will stand toe to toe with the top wines of the northern Rhone. It will drink well for 10-15 years.”

Reynvaan Family Vineyards In The Hills Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “Another beauty is the 2014 Syrah In the Hills, which is this estate’s take on a Cote Rotie and incorporates 5% co-fermented Viognier. Raspberries, bacon fat, violets and olive all emerge from this medium-bodied, elegant, ethereally textured beauty. It too will drink beautifully for 10-15 years.”

Reynvaan Family Vineyards Stonessence Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95-97 points
“Reminiscent of a top Cornas with its iron, beef blood, floral and seriously mineral character, the 2014 Syrah Stonessence is the burliest, most structured and concentrated of the Syrahs releases. I love its balance, and its purity of fruit and ripe tannic spine all suggest short-term cellaring will be the name of the game.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘The Contender’ Syrah – Marsanne, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“Checking in as a mix of 94% Syrah and 6% Marsanne, the 2014 Syrah The Contender is another elegant, medium to full-bodied, layered wine from this estate that offers plenty of texture and length. Blackberries, violets, plums, pepper and hints of iron all emerge from this beauty, which can be enjoyed on release or cellared for a decade or more.”Reynvaan Family Vineyards The Unnamed Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“Incorporating 8% Grenache Blanc and from the Rocks region of Walla Walla, the 2014 The Unnamed Syrah offers a unique profile with pretty notes of white peach (from the Grenache Blanc no doubt), dried violets, plums and bouquet garni. Medium to full-bodied, supple, layered and beautifully balanced, it should shine right out of the gate, yet also evolve gracefully.”2013’s:

B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 34 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Lastly, and from tiny yields, the 100-case 2013 Syrah Olsen Vineyard was fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged in 20% new puncheons for 18 months. Gamey, spice and complex, with gorgeous crème de cassis fruit and a touch of graphite, this beauty is full-bodied, layered and elegant, with ripe tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great finish. This is a serious wine that will benefit from short-term cellaring and drink well through 2028.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Charles Smith K Vintners River Rock Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 15 bottles available.
Wine Advocate 93 points
“A wine that just screams “The Rocks” is the 2013 Syrah River Rock Vineyard and it is about as classic a representation of this terrific terroir located around the town of Milton Freewater as I could imagine. Medium to full-bodied, fresh, focused and with fine, polished tannin, it has tons of pepper, bloody meats, olive and ripe dark fruits all soaring from the glass. I like it today, but it will keep for a decade.”Charles Smith K Vintners Rock Garden Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($69.95) $56.50 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“Offering up impressive plum, peat, light black powder, ground pepper and violets, the 2013 Syrah Rock Garden gives up medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate, with fine tannin and outstanding length. It should end up being a low to mid 90s scoring effort that will impress for upwards of a decade. I’ll have reviews for all of the 2013s from barrel next year as well.”Gramercy Cellars Lagniappe Syrah, Columbia Valley 2013 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 25 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
“Slightly more fruit driven than the meaty, peppery John Lewis release, the 2013 Syrah Lagniappe is a drop dead gorgeous Syrah that does everything right. Its almost opaque purple color is followed by a complex, layered bouquet that includes ample black and blue fruits, ground pepper, lavender, olive and hints of bacon fat. This gives way to a medium to full-bodied, layered, silky 2013 that has a great mid-palate, juicy acidity and a great finish. I’d happily drink it today, but it should be at its best from 2018-2028.”

Owen Roe Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah, Yakima Valley 2013 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, # bottles available
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92 points
“Bright medium ruby. Musky, earthy aromas of raspberry, roasted strawberry, smoked meat and charred oak. Fat, sweet and deep, with good spicy lift to the very ripe flavors of plum, blueberry, dark chocolate and spices. A very rich, tactile Syrah with sexy sweetness but plenty of ripe, dusty tannins to support a graceful evolution in bottle. Ultimately richer than the Union Gap Syrah but also more tannic.”

Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Syrah, Oregon 2013 750ML ($37.95) $30.90 special, 5 bottles available
Winemaker’s note:
Enticing black fruits and dark rose petals pair with sweet leather and smoky barrel-spice aromatics. The palate boasts blackberry, currant and dark chocolate with a hint of black peppercorns. Dusty tannins with sweet earth and baking spices round out the finish.

Long Shadows Sequel Syrah, Columbia Vallley 2013 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“The only 2013 not yet in bottle, the 2013 Syrah Sequel (there’s 8% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend) gives up a big, rich, decadent style as well as lots of ripe black fruits, caramelized meats, licorice and wood-smoke like aromas and flavors. In a vintage that too often comes up short on texture and richness, this beauty delivers in spades. It should drink nicely right out of the gate.”

Twill Cellars Oregon Syrah 2013 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 11 bottles available
Winery note:
This is a blend of Syrah barrels from three vineyards in different regions of Oregon, which we feel best represent the 2013 vintage. These vineyards include Deux Vert in the Willamette Valley, Belmont in Southern Oregon,  and Steelhead Run in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon.
Tasting notes: Aromas of deep, spicy red plum and blue fruit are complemented with notes of chocolate, grilled meats, salt-cured olives, coffee, and tobacco. On the palate this wine is fresh and vibrant, with a  great density to both the texture and finish. It tastes a lot like it smells, with lovely notes of minerals, saline, coffee, and bitter chocolate on the finish.

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert Vineyard, Willamette Valley – Oregon 2012 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 10 bottles available
Winery note
“From the Willamette Valley’s first planting of Syrah, this cool climate, low alcohol wine will redefine your idea of the possibilities of new-world Syrah. If you like your Syrah French, here is a kindred but one of a kind wine from Oregon.  90% Syrah, 10% Viognier.”2011’s:Dunham Cellars Lewis Estate Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley  2011 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 33 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Another terrific effort, and one of the strongest Syrahs in the vintage, the 2011 Syrah Lewis Vineyard is 100% Syrah that spent 30 months in 90% new French oak, which you’d never know by tasting it. Gorgeous blackberry, blueberry, wild herbs, licorice, chocolate and hints of crushed rock all emerge from this beauty, and it flows onto the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, bright acidity and a seamless, elegant profile. It’s enjoyable now, but will shine for another decade at least as well.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.95

Five Elite Wines

We all love it when a Barolo vintage comes through. Antonio Galloni calls 2010 one of the best modern-day Barolos. Warm summer temperatures, without any of the modern-day sweltering heat, and cool nights, plus a mid-October harvest made for steady ripening and a classic style. Rich, balanced, and structured to age, the 2010’s deserve their own space in the cellar – especially wines like Cordero di Montezemolo’s Barolo Enrico VI. The 2010 growing season matched this wine’s terroir, where calcareous clay meets excellent hillside drainage and southern exposure, to breed a Barolo of great concentration and finesse. But why stop here? Plenty of 2010 Barolos stand out, like these beauties listed below:
Cordero di Montezemolo Enrico VI, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($119.95) $85 special, 25 bottles available
James Suckling 96 points
“Wonderful aromas of crushed berries and flowers here. Particularly roses. Full body, with fine yet chewy tannins and a long intense finish. Needs four or five years to open. Best wine ever from here?” JS
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The estate’s Barolo Enrico VI, which emerges from the Villero vineyard in Castiglione Falletto, is one of the most beautiful wines I have tasted here in some time. Vivid and layered in the glass, the 2010 is all about polish, silkiness and pure nuance. Sweet, silky tannins support a core of dark red cherries, plums, tobacco, menthol and smoke, all in a textured, layered style that is hugely appealing. The Enrico VI is a wine of significant potential. I can’t wait to see how it ages.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2010 Barolo Enrico VI sees fruit sourced from the celebrated Villero cru in Castiglione Falletto. It’s hard not to be enthusiastically impressed by this gorgeous effort. The fruit is stunning and dark with a deep, penetrating level of aromatic intensity that spans from creme de cassis to dried licorice root. In the mouth, it is extraordinarily bright and silky and the seamless finish can be counted in long, delicious minutes. A special nod goes the high energy and vibrant quality of this beautiful Barolo. Drink: 2016-2026.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $96

Giovanni Corino Barolo Vigna Giachini, Barolo DOCG  2010 750ML ($59.95) $47 special, 19 bottles available
Case-6 Giovanni Corino Barolo Vigna Giachini, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($299.95) $264 special, 4 half-cases available
Case-12 Giovanni Corino Barolo Vigna Giachini, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($599.95) $479 special, 5 cases available
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Focused, juicy and long, this red is packed with cherry, floral, tobacco and underbrush flavors. Still a bit tight now, but stays long. The sweet fruit returns on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2030.” WS
Bruna Grimaldi Badarina Vigna Regnola, Barolo DOCG  2010 750ML ($59.95) $38 special, 36+ bottles available
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92+ points
“this 1.5-hectare plot, planted on shallow white soil at a high altitude of 420 meters in Serralunga, is the estate’s “original” vineyard, where Bruna Grimaldi’s grandfather was born; the only Barolo for which Grimaldi uses cappello sommerso for extraction): Medium-deep red. Complex aromas of raspberry, truffle, smoke and underbrush. Large-scaled, concentrated and rich, offering powerful, lightly medicinal flavors of raspberry and strawberry complicated by licorice and menthol. This very young wine finishes dry and broad, with serious granular tannins calling for extended aging. The Badarina spends a full 36 months in oak and is released a year later than the other Barolos of its vintage. (Grimaldi kept a bit of this fruit in both 2010 and 2009 to make a reserve bottling, but the 2009 will not be released until 2015.)” STPoderi Colla Dardi Le Rose Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 24 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92+ points
“The 2010 Barolo Bussia Dardi/Le Rose from Poderi Colla emerges from the glass with dried rose petals, licorice, tobacco, mint, dried cherries, plums and coffee beans, all super-classic Nebbiolo scents. Beguiling and layered in the glass, the 2010 continues to open up beautifully over time, I can’t wait to see how it ages. At the same time, the 2010 is medium in body and surprisingly supple. Will it put on weight in bottle? Only time will tell. Today, the 2010 is young, young, young.” AGGiovanni Corino Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2010 750ML ($44.95) $29 special, 11 bottles available
Case-12 Giovanni Corino Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2010 750ML ($479.95) $319 special, 2 cases available
Wine Spectator 90 points
“A fresh, elegant red, showing cherry, floral, loam and underbrush flavors. This is firm, yet ripe and long, with gripping tannins on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2030.” WS

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $39.99

Austria’s Finest: 5 of the Best

Another example of Austrian perfection. The Pichler family knows every detail of Gruner Veltliner, Riesling, and the Wachau Valley where they have grown fine wine since 1898. These are reference wines for the region, and for Austria as a whole. Lucas Pichler took over from his dad Franz Xavier back in 1999, and a decade later a new winery housed the production that critics like Robert Parker had already lauded. With some of the Wachau’s premier vineyard holdings, any wine tasted from FX Pichler will add definition to the appellation and to the grape. For instance, a sip of the 2013 Riesling Loibner Steinertal will provide a sense of that east-Wachau vineyard’s deep gneiss soil and Danube valley location: minerality, raciness, and peaches. If only all wineries could work with such intuition and precision.

Below, five of their best – Available Here Now:

F.X. Pichler Loibner Steinertal Riesling Smaragd 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 95 points
“Salt, white pepper and Szechuan peppercorn mouthwateringly and invigoratingly inflect luscious, juicy white peach, pineapple and lime. A sleek and refined texture contributes to this bottling’s overall sense of elegance. With a similar ringing clarity to that of the Oberhäuser, but with greater depth and complexity as befits its steep and stony origins, this projects liquid perfume of a bittersweet, iris-like sort; smoky black tea; crushed stone; and diverse peppercorns, finishing with phenomenal persistence. Interestingly and perhaps not coincidentally, at just 13% it is one of the alcoholically lightest wines of the present collection.”F.X. Pichler Durnsteiner Liebenberg Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 20 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Cool, concentrated and precise on the slightly flinty nose, the 2013 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Dürnsteiner Liebenberg is a full-bodied, rich and almost smooth but elegant Veltliner with licorice flavors on the densely woven and silky textured palate. The finish reveals freshness, and rounds up a very well-balanced and already accessible wine.”

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F.X. Pichler M Gruner Veltliner Smaragd 2013 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Lucas Pichler’s monumental 2013 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd M opens with an ultra-ripe, concentrated and slightly speck-y yet still precise and even mineral-scented bouquet on the nose. Very rich and intense on the palate, this elegant, full-bodied, densely textured and powerful Veltliner from late-harvested grapes reveals an aromatic and juicy fruit core along with a stunningly vibrant acidity that gives structure, length and a lifting as well as lingering salinity and piquancy. Maracuya and other tropical fruit flavors dominate the aromatic aftertaste. Although I have no experience with matured samples of this Austrian icon Veltliner, I suspect it has an aging potential of 5-10 years and should be cellared at least for another 2 or 3 years.”F.X. Pichler Loibner Burgstall Riesling Federspiel 2013 750ML ($44.95) $39 special, 23 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 90 points
“Bottled already in February of 2014, this offers scents and flavors of ripe apricot reminiscent of Riesling from the gravelly nearby Oberhäuser, wreathed in musky peony-like perfume and accompanied by a high-toned suggestion of pistachio extract. On a firm yet glossy and brightly juicy palate, it offers lemony-green tartness of sorrel allied to the pit-inflected but fleshy apricot, and finishes with persistent verve and invigorating tang.”

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F.X. Pichler Loibner Oberhauser Riesling Smaragd ($41.95) $39 special, 23 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93 points
“Site-typical pit-tinged apricot in the nose is joined by scents of honeysuckle and high-toned nut extracts. The silky palate offers a luscious evocation of apricot fruit laced with brightly fresh lime, an impression of great purity carrying into the impressively penetrating and exhilaratingly refreshing finish, in which the sheer abundance of fruit is more than up to the counterpoint of pit piquancy and liquid floral notes perfectly complement a sense of wafting buoyancy.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $49.96

Châteauneuf-du-Pape with Tradition

Domaine du Pegau was formally founded in 1987 by father-daughter team Paul and Laurence Feraud;  the family formerly bottled the wine under the name Domaine Feraud and farmed the area since the 17th century. Chez Pegau, vines average sixty-plus years in age.

Their Cuvée Réservée is hand-picked blend of 80% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 4 % Mourvedre and 10% other permitted varieties. The grapes are grown in stony soils with a mix of clay, chalk and sand. Whole cluster, lightly crushed and then fermented on wild yeasts for 5-7 days in traditional cement vessels. There is no temperature control, and prolonged maceration takes place for 1-2 weeks following, with one or two pump-overs per day. Press and free-run juice is aged in 5,000 liter oak foudre for 1.5 years before being blended and bottled unfiltered.

Featured Pegau CDP Available Here Now:

Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2013 750ML ($69.95) $53.50 special, 36+ bottles available
Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2013 750ML ($149.95) $128 special, 5 magnums available
Case-12 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2013 750ML ($719.95) $588 special, 5 cases available (that’s only $49/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points
“Deep ruby. Potent aromas of ripe dark berries, licorice pastille, woodsmoke, game and garrigue, plus a peppery nuance that adds spiciness and lift. Round and fleshy on the palate, offering intense blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become livelier and sweeter with air. The very long, energetic, sharply focused finish features fine-grained tannins and subtle, lingering notes of dark berries and smoked meat.”

…It might be fun to taste the ’13 and ’12 alongside one another, too!

Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2012 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
“One of my favorite wines, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee Réservée is a classic. Beautiful on the nose, with notions of ground pepper, wild herbs, minerality and smoked plum and dark fruit, it’s medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated and has plenty of tannin that comes through on the finish. Similar in style to a lighter-weight 2010, drink this beauty anytime over the coming 12-15 years.” JD

Our Current
Shipping Promos:
Welcome to the club, Colorado!

Along with OregonWashingtonIdaho, and California,
we now offer flat rate shipping to Colorado! Here’s the scoop:

Single orders of any quantity of wines qualify for the flat rate;
this does not apply to orders held in storage for any reason
or multiple orders consolidated into one shipment.
The flat reach for each state is, as follows:

-to Oregon for $17,
 –Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California & Colorado for $25.
Take Advantage of the Flat Rate!


Vinopolis Presents:

Arriving October  24th

It seems so basic, yet too many winemakers forget: good wine is made in the vineyard. With old Syrah vines growing in granitic soil on select slopes in Cornas, Matthieu Barret knows to let nature take her course. His wisdom is a gift. In charge at Domaine du Coulet since 1998, Barret has farmed his 27 acres of low-yield Cornas (and 12 of Cotes du Rhone red and white) biodynamically. The vineyard ecosystem here has found a healthy balance, which reduces the need for chemical treatments, which retains the purity of grape and wine. In the cellar, Barret avoids new oak altogether, and adds as little sulfur as possible. The results amplify the expression of Cornas – the deep, dark, ripe Rhone fruit, the minerality of granite, the mélange of raspberry and chocolate – into wines whose natural essence has caught more than our attention.
Domaine du Coulet Wines Arriving October 24th:
Matthieu Barret Domaine du Coulet Cornas Billes Noires 2011 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Matthieu Barret Domaine du Coulet Cornas Billes Noires 2011 1.5L ($199.95) $159 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“Even better, the 2011 Cornas Billes Noires, which spends one year in old wood followed by one year in concrete tank, offers blockbuster levels of black raspberry, smoked earth, chocolate, licorice and crushed rock on the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied, long, elegant and with laser-like focus, it nevertheless does not lack for fruit or texture, and has fine-grained tannin framing the finish beautifully. With a scant 600 cases to go around, there’s not much of it, but don’t miss a chance to grab a couple of bottles if you can. It too will drink well for 10-15 years.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Matthieu Barret Domaine du Coulet Cornas Billes Noires  2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Coming from the upper part of Cornas and seeing 24 months in 400-500 Liter barrels (none new), the 2012 Cornas Domaine du Coulet Billes Noires is an incredible effort that’s up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Its inky purple color is followed by an awesome bouquet of cassis, bacon fat, olive, peppered meat and iron, with additional minerality coming through with air. Classic in every way, with full-bodied richness, stunning purity and integrated acidity, it’s a big, brooding and concentrated effort that’s reasonably approachable now due to its fruit and texture, yet won’t hit prime time until 6-7 years after the vintage and will have two decades of longevity.”Matthieu Barret Domaine du Coulet Cornas Brise Cailloux 2011 750ML ($69.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Starting out, the 2011 Cornas Brise Cailloux offers up textbook Cornas wildness with its gamy, herbal-styled bouquet delivering brilliant fruit (black cherry, raspberry, blueberry), loads of meatiness, spring flowers and searing minerality. Seeing 18 months all in old wood, this medium to full-bodied beauty has incredibly purity of fruit, great acidity and a knockout finish. Enjoy it over the coming 10-15 years.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $57
Matthieu Barret Domaine du Coulet Cornas Brise Cailloux 2012 750ML ($69.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“More elegant and streamlined than the meaty, concentrated Billes Noires, the 2012 Cornas Brise Cailloux has a beautiful perfume of peppery herbs, beef blood, crushed rock and sweet dark fruits. Rounded, rich and layered, with serious minerality as well, enjoy this medium to full-bodied, lengthy and beautifully put together Cornas over the coming decade.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $53
Matthieu Barret Domaine du Coulet Cornas Les Terrasses du Serre  2009 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“While they didn’t present this cuvee in 2012, I sourced a bottle of 2009 Cornas les Terrasses du Serre locally to see a slightly older vintage. Classic Cornas, with chewy, meaty, bloody notes of black fruits, lavender, olive tapenade and violets, this beauty has everything you could want from a Syrah from these steep granite slopes. Full-bodied, concentrated and beautifully textured, with integrated acidity and plenty of tannin, drink it anytime over the coming decade or more.”

Champagne Closer

Pop That Cork!

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 2004 750ML ($179.95) $136 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“I am thrilled with the way the 2004 Comtes de Champagne continues to evolve in bottle. A few years ago, the 2004 was quite focused and linear, in the style of the vintage, but more recently, the wine has begun to fill out beautifully. The 2004 remains bright, with a full range of citrus, white flower and mineral nuances that dance on the palate. A brisk, saline-infused finish rounds things out beautifully in a Comtes that impresses for its crystalline purity. I expect the 2004 will always remain a bit cool next to the more opulent 2002, but it is still drop-dead gorgeous.”